January 2009 > YachtCheck® quality initiative hits the nerve of the charter market

YachtCheck® quality initiative hits the nerve of the charter market

While talking with a couple of dozens representatives of international charter companies during the Boot 2009 in Düsseldorf, one thing became clear: Within the last months revenue flows from charter yacht sales to investors almost dried out. In some cases even already signed yacht sale contracts had to be cancelled because banks were rowing back with their credit promises. Quite some professional visitors admitted that they will only survive these months thanks to their stable yacht charter revenues. Until end of 2009 this missing cash cows from yacht sales might bring some charter companies into trouble. The recent development reveals that charter management does hard to survive solely as a catalyst for yacht sales. But actually there was also a very positive message for the charter industry: Many european charter companies stated that they did not receive significantly less bookings compared to the previous year.

Isn't that quite remarkable in an economical environment that is considered to be the biggest crisis since 80 years? It almost appears that the reputation of the product yacht charter is experiencing a revival among other marine services that are having a hard time in these months. Quite some yacht sale & charter brokers seem thankfully reminded that their own roots actually grew in the charter business. Strange enough that it was possible that yacht charter was considered to be a rather non profitable attachment to the yachting business during the last years, or?

However, charter companies still suffer from client's preference to book the lowest charter price available. Investments of operators and yacht owners into equipment and maintenance are not recognized. Especially in the web efforts in direction of creating higher quality charters were not paid back yet. Definitely, the yacht charter business deserves a fresh start but it needs also a fresh image. Transparency is good - but not just for comparing prices! Customers need also to know the quality of services they purchase - especially when buying in the web. Probably this increasing awareness among charter professionals was the reason why the just launched YachtCheck® quality certification initiative hits the nerve of the market.

Charter providers dedicated quite some part of their boat show visit informing themselves about the YachtCheck® quality campaign. The response was overwhelming and encouraging. In mid to long term yacht charter operators can now develop their own profile and publish it with marketing. Charter customers are price sensitive, definitely - but not less as they are keeping their eye on quality. Individual quality standards have to become visible for charter clients. This will not prevent customers from still selecting the lowest price - but within their quality category. This will be the achievement that will return yacht charter its place among profitable businesses.

Posted: 1/28/2009 10:45:31 PM by Felix Wolf | with 0 comments

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